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Sunday, November 28, 2010

Read about my award-winning short story collection. Keywords: small-town, West Texas, stories, fiction, comedy, satire, drama, rural, acorn, Sordid Lives, Greater Tuna, Tuna Texas, Lubbock author, Duane Simolke, Lubbock authors, Lubbock writer, Lubbock writers, Lubbock Texas, West Texas book, West Texas books, Lubbock book, Lubbock books, texas tech university alumni, football, sports, teachers, coach, coaches, African American, Mexican American, gay, ex-gay, exgay, lesbian, closeted, mayor, artists, Faust, Morgana Le Fay.
Discover West Texas fiction and more at Love Those Excerpts. Read daily excerpts for books of all genres.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Revisiting Diversity in Science Fiction.

Reposted from Tiki Hut.

Now that I’ve completed a draft to the sequel of Degranon: A Science Fiction Adventure, I still find myself surprised by the slow but steadily growing audience Degranon finds. It’s been almost ten years since the first edition appeared. I rewrote the book two years after its publication, following an earlier idea of making some of the major characters gay.

Those changes, and some others, made the novel even more memorable to me, and it remains my favorite out of everything I’ve written. Dealing with themes of discrimination, religious turmoil, and oppression added emotional layers, but I mostly wanted to create interesting characters and exciting scenes of adventure. That revised, second edition immediately gained attention.

In Worried, the upcoming sequel to Degranon, the characters still wrestle with some of the same problems, though they have overcome weight discrimination, censorship, and some of the other specific issues they struggled with before. However, some past failings haunt the citizens of Valchondria, the human home world. Dark secrets haunt the Valchondrians even more.

Also, the first book spanned generations on two planets. Worried takes place over five weeks. Most of the action happens on the capital city of the home world, except for a few scenes set in outer space. Still, the epic scope of the first book gave me a universe, and that entire universe still affects the characters and events of the second book. I think Degranon’s new and old readers will enjoy the journey back; I’m certainly enjoying it and look forward to the next few months of revision.

Spoiler alert! Warning, mild spoilers lurk ahead. Some hints about what to expect in Worried follow.


The wedding of two male characters from the first book.

The rumors of a dangerous alien race weren’t exaggerated.

The balance of power on Valchondria remains in question.

The effects of past addiction linger.

Enemies might need each other.


(Read reviews of Degranon: A Science Fiction Adventure at Rainbow Reviews and I Must Be Dreaming.)

Update: Worried became Sons of Taldra.

Monday, November 22, 2010

I posted some scifi trailers yesterday. Here’s one for the new Jake Gyllenhaal movie, Source Code. It looks it might be exciting, unless the time travel scenes keep repeating in a monotonous fashion. Source Code HD trailer.
In the gay DVD Strapped, a young hustler becomes trapped in an apartment building. The tenants there affect him in surprising ways. Read my review at ThisWeekInTexas.Com.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

SciFi Trailers:

Science Fiction: 1600 views at YouTube!
Cowboys and Aliens, with Daniel Craig and Harrison Ford.
I Am Number 4, based on the teen novel.
Green Lantern, the new full-length trailer.
Tron Legacy, the long-awaited Disney sequel.
Battle: Los Angeles, an invasion movie with a war-movie feel.

More scifi:
Falling Skies discussion at ComicCon.
Outcasts press release. The new show, with Battlestar Galactica’s Jamie Bamber, will soon premiere on BBC America.

Riese: Kingdom Falling is a new web series from SyFy. According to their site…
“Narrated by Amanda Tapping (Sanctuary), the series stars a cavalcade of talent from the world of popular speculative drama including Christine Chatelain (The Bone Collector); Sharon Taylor (Stargate Universe); Ben Cotton (Harper's Island), Allison Mack (Smallville); Ryan Robbins (Caprica); Patrick Gilmore (Stargate Universe); Alessandro Juliani (Battlestar Galactica) and Emilie Ullerup (Sanctuary).”

Thursday, November 11, 2010

November is Native American History Month. Visit that site for information about identity, art, history, culture, and much more. Since today is also Veterans Day, the Library of Congress’s information about Native American Veterans on the Willing to Serve home page is also timely, bringing attention to individuals from the Navajo Code Talkers to Native people currently serving in Iraq or Afghanistan.

The Acorn Gathering, a fundraiser for cancer research, includes Native American themes. “Finding Acorns in Winter,” one of the stories I wrote for the collection, involves a young woman who wants to honor her Comanche ancestors while helping an elderly woman. Bill Wetzel, a Blackfeet Indian, wrote the story “Nachos Are Green And Ducks Appear To Be Blue At Town Pump In Cut Bank, Montana.” Despite a strange title, a nonlinear structure, and a sometimes comical tone, that story hits upon some hard facts about reservation life. Wetzel also contributed a sweet, romantic story called “A Morning by the River.”

Though it takes place on a fictionalized version of Earth and on a colonized planet, my novel Degranon: A Science Fiction Adventure involves a family that we might see as American Indian, First Nation, or Native American. There is no mention of particular tribes, however.

Of course, I’m only part Choctaw and Cherokee. You can find First Nation writers and stories with Native American Authors and Native American Traditional Storytelling.

Please also visit the blog Native American News.
They should have named this TV show doorQ.

Well, some gay portal already uses that name, but the show's characters can still talk about doorQ’s reboot.

Australia’s ABC1 has announced plans for Outland, a six-part comedy series with openly gay science fiction geeks. A show about “belonging and fitting in” will feature the gay characters Rae (Christine Anu), Toby (Ben Gerrard), Andy (Paul Ireland), Fab (Adam Richard) and Max (Toby Truslove). Kevin Carlin will direct. Princess Pictures, already known for the hits Summer Heights High and John Safran’s Race Relations, will produce.

Monday, November 08, 2010

Gay Book Giveaways and a New Release.

Enter to win a copy of the new novel by Shannon Yarbrough, Are You Sitting Down?

Publisher’s description: “In his latest novel, Shannon Yarbrough explores the damaged soul of one small town family and breaks through the boundaries of love, convincing his readers that no matter how hard life gets, sometimes the support of family is often the only true foundation we have left to depend upon - whether we want it or not.”

This week only, read the blog entry AuthorIsland Tiki Hut: This Week At The Tiki Hut - Duane Simolke for a chance to win an eBook copy of the gay-themed novel Degranon: A Science Fiction Adventure and to learn more about its upcoming sequel Worried.

Gay writer Rick R. Reed is making a departure from thrillers like IM with the story of a man coming out to himself just before his wedding. The sometimes sad, sometimes funny novel Out on the Net unfolds in the form of blog entries. That new release arrives next week.